Bill Hagerty, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee, called China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic “the crime of the century” in a Friday interview.
“I’ve worked with China and seen how they operate for years. And I can tell you, what they’re trying to do right now with this Wuhan virus is the crime of the century in my view,” said Hagerty, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan under President Donald Trump before announcing his Senate campaign.
In an interview on “The Jeff Poor Show,” Hagerty revealed that he visited the White House last week and said “everybody in the White House is focused” on holding China accountable.
“I think it’s the greatest cover-up in human history when they tried to act like it didn’t come from there. They’ve even said that the United States, our military somehow put it there. It’s just unbelievable,” said Hagerty.
“We know the virus started there. We know it was their efforts to try to hide it, to not disclose it to the rest of the world. It cost Chinese lives, but now it’s gotten out. It cost lives, and it has caused economic damage all around the world. The Chinese are playing what I believe is a public relations game, and what they should have been playing is working hard on public health,” he continued.
Hagerty also suggested bringing “strategic supply chains” from China back to the United States once the pandemic settles down.
“Even the gowns and the masks that we need right now are manufactured in China and we’re having trouble getting the supply that we need. The Communist Chinese see this vulnerability, they can use it as a strategic weapon against us. We’ve got to make certain that we’re not in this position as we come out of this. We’ve got to bring those industries back,” he said.
In a March op-ed for Breitbart News, Hagerty said the U.S. government cannot let China’s “propaganda machine rewrite history.”
“Right now, the Wuhan coronavirus is underscoring the real threat posed by the communist leadership in China that – rather than working to save the lives of its own people – prefers to silence opposition from within as it works to spread anti-American propaganda,” he wrote. “We must stop the spread of false information and get to the bottom of how this virus originated, the number of people infected, and what China must do to prevent this from ever happening again.”
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